Prefab/Modular Home Prices - Costs for 20 US Firms (2012)

This single-level 3-4 bedroom, 3-bath prefab home, the Blu Breezehouse, starts at $495,000. Its base price, at about $163/sq.ft., places it around the middle of the range for contemporary prefab houses.
This single-level 3-4 bedroom, 3-bath prefab home, the Blu Breezehouse, starts at $495,000. Its base price, at about $163/sq.ft., places it around the middle of the range for contemporary prefab houses.
Source: Blu Homes

Prefabricated (prefab or modular) homes used to be associated with ugly, cookie-cutter models that sacrificed style and individuality in favor of a McDonald's-like consistency. Times have changed. Nowadays, prefab homes have a stunning array of customization options, and are more likely to be associated with world-class contemporary design than big-box mediocrity.

But how much do prefab homes cost? As you might expect, prices vary depending on the type of design, and the range of installed features. A cutting-edge design is going to cost considerably more than designs without as much flourish, and high-end, professional grade appliances will run you higher than standard ones. As you'll see in the chart and photos below, some prefab home manufacturers are clearly carving out the high end for themselves, and might only be marginally less expensive than houses built directly on the home's foundation. Others seek to limit choices and design extravagances in favor of economy.

Average Price Range

I took a look at 20 companies that sell contemporary prefab homes, and the prices broke down depending on whether the company is involved in the fabrication phase only, or if it's also involved in the delivery and/or construction phase, as well.

  • Fabrication only: around $100-150 per square foot on average
  • Fabrication, Delivery, and Assembly: around $200-250 per square foot on average

A true apple-to-apple cost comparison is difficult, because there are numerous additional expenses, some of which are covered in some companies' estimates, and not in others'. These include design, engineering, architecture, and utility hookup costs. None of the companies cover the cost of permitting, inspections, or foundations (if needed).

A table of cost and lead time information is below. Beneath that, I've put pictures and costs of these vendors' designs, prices they're advertising as of 2012.

Company
Location
Approx cost per sq ft
Design focus
Lead time
Alchemy Architects (weeHouses)
St. Paul, MN
$127-180
4 basic formats (Studio, Pair, Tall, Four Square) - numerous color/material/appliance options. Custom designs also available.
6-9 months total (standard); 9+ (custom)
Anderson Anderson Architecture
San Francisco, CA
$140+ plus installation
sustainable, modular design (including the 1100-sqft, $150,000 B-House, and the two-story Menlo Park House
5+ months
Asul
Phoenix, AZ
$125-200
Customized components around steel-frame Adaptable System core.
4-6 months for construction
Blu Homes
Waltham, MA
$64-189 for completed homes
Seven contemporary designs, from small, simple Origin ($64/sqft) to two-story family home Evolution ($189/sqft)
6-11 weeks for manufacturing, delivery & installation
Davis Studio A+D (pieceHomes)
Los Angeles, CA
$185 for construction, $30 for engr/permits, $225-250 for premium
wide range of standard designs, including the 320-sqft "320" to the 4-bed, 3-bath "2250" and premium designs. Additional units like guest houses and extensions also available.
4-7 months total (non-custom)
E-Space Systems
Inglewood, CA
approx. $200
3-size range, from 100-sqft Mini Ten Ten, to 400-sqft Mini Twenty Twenty
n/a
Garrison Architects
New York, NY
$200-250
green, net-zero energy buildings (including the Red Hook Green, and 1500-sqft, $304,000 NZ99 [Net Zero for the 99%])
4-6 months to manufacture
Hive Modular
Minneapolis, MN
$185+ build cost
Six lines based on general geometries (1 Canada-only), countless configurations; custom designs available ~15% of construction costs
4 months
ideabox
Salem, OR
$93-212 (320 for floating "Drift" model)
8 models, from the simple and inexpensive "Cube" to the largest (1470 sqft) Confluence3. Also sell Ikea-branded "Aktiv" ($86,500 - 745 sqft)
8 weeks for site work
Jenesys Buildings (Cabin Fever)
Miami, FL
$75-100
Focus on "micro-housing"; 4 series with size SML size variants. Office/general purpose & studio/efficiency packages; Shells+Plus for DIYers
12-19 weeks
kitHAUS
Van Nuys, CA
$207-250
Small (100-289 sq ft), simple, single-room, self-contained units. Aluminum construction, insulated wall panels.
6-8 weeks for manufacturing & delivery
LivingHomes
Santa Monica, CA
$220-245
Eleven styles, configurable by buyer. Elaborate, contemporary designs by 2 architects. Most styles include decking.
46 weeks (standard) - 54 weeks (custom)
MA Modular
Austin, TX
$140+ base price
Nine standard, plus semi-custom and custom designs (1-3 bedroom). Touts relatively low price vs competition
6 months beginning to end
Method Homes
Seattle, WA
$130-200 prefab only
Seven series, including the wood-heavy Cabin Series, to the triangle-based HOMB Series. Several architectural firms & styles.
approx 2 months for delivery & installation
Minarc (mnmMOD)
Los Angeles, CA
$255 plus transportation
kit-based mixed-media units, incorporating recyclable materials; net-zero energy
n/a
Proto Homes
Los Angeles, CA
$210+
wide range of sizes (Tiny to X-Large); iPad integration for home control and monitoring; modular units built around central "Core
3-5 months (location dependent)
Rocio Romero (LV Series)
St. Louis, MO
$120-195 (DIYers $87, high-end $250)
Seven modular kits with different dimensions and exterior treatments; contractor or DIY ready
avg 3-6 months for delivery & construction
Sander Architects
Los Angeles, CA
$225+
2000-sqft minimum, custom-designed homes using a steel backbone; ideal client has large space requirements and unique design vision
15+ months for design & construction
Tumbleweed Tiny House Company
Sebastopol, CA
$110-180 (build yourself), $250-415 (assembled in Northern Calif)
dozens of small-footprint models, can come assembled (Northern California, no cottages), in a kit, or just the plans ($17 to $649)
3-4 months for completed home delivered
Turkel Design (Lindal Cedar)
Cambridge, MA
$225-350
Nine designs, 1700-3000 sqft. Ecofriendly designs, including LEED certification, renewable energy features.
8 months manufacturing, delivery & assembly
ALCHEMY WEEHOUSE: This four-module weeHouse has 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, and 2,200 square feet. Its cost in 2007 was about $280,000, or about $127/SF.
ALCHEMY WEEHOUSE: This four-module weeHouse has 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, and 2,200 square feet. Its cost in 2007 was about $280,000, or about $127/SF.
Source: weeHouse
ANDERSON ANDERSON ARCHITECTURE: This 1,100 square foot B-House design was constructed in Japan with a budget of $154,000. This works out to about $140/SF.
ANDERSON ANDERSON ARCHITECTURE: This 1,100 square foot B-House design was constructed in Japan with a budget of $154,000. This works out to about $140/SF.
BLU HOMES: This 2-bedroom, 1-bath design (Origin) has 1,944 square feet of living space, and starts at about $125,000 complete, or $95,000 for the shell alone.
BLU HOMES: This 2-bedroom, 1-bath design (Origin) has 1,944 square feet of living space, and starts at about $125,000 complete, or $95,000 for the shell alone.
Source: Blu Homes
PIECEHOMES: This 2,100-square foot "mv3" can be outfitted with 2, 3, or 4 bedrooms, and 2.5 or 3.5 baths. At an estimated $185/SF, the mv3 runs at about $388,500.
PIECEHOMES: This 2,100-square foot "mv3" can be outfitted with 2, 3, or 4 bedrooms, and 2.5 or 3.5 baths. At an estimated $185/SF, the mv3 runs at about $388,500.
Source: pieceHomes
HIVE MODULAR: This B-Line Medium 001, installed in Minneapolis, is a 3-bed, 3-bath with 1,780 SF. Build costs are on the order of $185/SF, so this model would cost about $329,000 for the building and appliances.
HIVE MODULAR: This B-Line Medium 001, installed in Minneapolis, is a 3-bed, 3-bath with 1,780 SF. Build costs are on the order of $185/SF, so this model would cost about $329,000 for the building and appliances.
Source: Hive Modular
IDEABOX: Co-marketed with Ikea, ideabox's aktiv sports a 745-sqft footprint and costs $86,500. Naturally outfitted with Ikea flooring, countertops, cabinets, bedroom and bath, and basic furnishings.
IDEABOX: Co-marketed with Ikea, ideabox's aktiv sports a 745-sqft footprint and costs $86,500. Naturally outfitted with Ikea flooring, countertops, cabinets, bedroom and bath, and basic furnishings.
Source: ideabox
JENESYS BUILDINGS: This Maxwell 16-20 is a 320 SF single-room unit that can be outfitted with a bath and full kitchen. Larger units up to 800 SF are available. This unit would cost $39,500 with kitchen and bath, or about $49/SF ( no assembly).
JENESYS BUILDINGS: This Maxwell 16-20 is a 320 SF single-room unit that can be outfitted with a bath and full kitchen. Larger units up to 800 SF are available. This unit would cost $39,500 with kitchen and bath, or about $49/SF ( no assembly).
KITHAUS: This 289 SF unit is actually the largest kitHAUS offers, the K1. This high-ceiling prefab unit starts at $75,000, or almost $260 SF.
KITHAUS: This 289 SF unit is actually the largest kitHAUS offers, the K1. This high-ceiling prefab unit starts at $75,000, or almost $260 SF.
Source: kitHAUS
LIVINGHOMES: This 4-bedroom, 3-bath modular home has 2,480 SF. Similar homes from LivingHomes run $180-250/SF.
LIVINGHOMES: This 4-bedroom, 3-bath modular home has 2,480 SF. Similar homes from LivingHomes run $180-250/SF.
Source: LivingHomes
MA MODULAR: This Luna model, like other MA Modular prefab models, starts at $140/SF. The Luna is 3-bedroom, 2-bath, and 1,540 SF; price starts at $216,500.
MA MODULAR: This Luna model, like other MA Modular prefab models, starts at $140/SF. The Luna is 3-bedroom, 2-bath, and 1,540 SF; price starts at $216,500.
Source: MA Modular
METHOD HOMES: This M2 has 1,240 SF of interior space, and 248 SF of deck space, and comprises 2 beds and 2 baths. Pricing starts at $230,000, or about $185/SF.
METHOD HOMES: This M2 has 1,240 SF of interior space, and 248 SF of deck space, and comprises 2 beds and 2 baths. Pricing starts at $230,000, or about $185/SF.
Source: Method Homes
PROTO HOMES: This "Sunlight Residence," built in Los Angeles, has 2,650 SF (incl. garage) of living space, 3 beds, and 2.5 baths. Based on its November 2011 sale, the home itself is valued at approx. $437,000.
PROTO HOMES: This "Sunlight Residence," built in Los Angeles, has 2,650 SF (incl. garage) of living space, 3 beds, and 2.5 baths. Based on its November 2011 sale, the home itself is valued at approx. $437,000.
Source: Proto Homes
ROCIO ROMERO (LV SERIES): This LVL home was built in New York, with total costs at $363,000, including pre-construction work, the LVL Kit, and construction. With 1,453 SF, that works out to $242/SF all-included.
ROCIO ROMERO (LV SERIES): This LVL home was built in New York, with total costs at $363,000, including pre-construction work, the LVL Kit, and construction. With 1,453 SF, that works out to $242/SF all-included.
Source: Rocio Romero
TUMBLEWEED: This 99 sq ft quaint Gifford home has a porch and optional loft. Larger models can be outfitted with bathrooms and kitchenettes. The Gifford costs $12,000 for the base kit, and $2,000 more assembled. Or $69 for the plans only.
TUMBLEWEED: This 99 sq ft quaint Gifford home has a porch and optional loft. Larger models can be outfitted with bathrooms and kitchenettes. The Gifford costs $12,000 for the base kit, and $2,000 more assembled. Or $69 for the plans only.
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